Monday, May 31, 2010

Setúbal's Guide: Travel to Azeitão

Nestling among olive and cork trees, Azeitão is a pretty and prosperous little village situated in the region of Setúbal at the foot of the Serra da Arrábida.

nown for its red wine, olives and creamy sheep’s cheese, the latter prized as one of the best in the country, and also some of the finest quintas (villas or country estates).

What to see and do in Azeitão:
  • Quinta da Bacalhôa: 2 km away from Azeitão stands the Quinta da Bacalhôa, considered one of the loveliest country houses in Portugal. Built by King Manuel I as a summer palace for his mother, it is a beautiful Renaissance villa, restored by an American and now owned by a Portuguese entrepreneur. With its melon domes and Italianate loggias, the house features a garden (visitors are allowed to walk around) with rare 16th century azulejo panels.
  • Palace of the Tâvoras: at the entrance to the village stands this great classical palace, one of the great families of Portugal. Not open to visitors, but with a visible Renaissance exterior.
  • Wine Cellars: Located in the centre of town, and open to visitors all year round, the Wine cellars produce the region’s renowned moscatel wine, as well as a wide variety of popular red and white table wines. Visitors here can sample some of Portugal's best red table wines and see its assembly-line production.
  • Azeitão's cheese: This is a typical creamy cheese made with sheep raw milk. The blessing of a mild climate and abundant pasture is the perfect place to produce this cheese that has a peculiar flavour sometimes defined as having a "wild riste of sweet herbs". It is a cured cheese, of a buttery, semi-soft consistency, white or light yellow in colour, with few or no holes.
  • Beaches: The best beach in the region lies at Portinho da Arrábida, with crystalline turquoise waters and a batch of sleepy waterside shanty restaurants where grilled sardines are the order of the day.
  • Walking tours: There are several walking tours available in and around Azeitão, like the "Louro mountain walk", where you can see windmills, arqueology treasures and also have great panoramics views of the Setúbal bay and beyond.
And if you visit Azeitão and love it so much that you want to live here, land in this area is available for building.

Join us on Facebook and see many photos of Azeitão.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Setúbal's guide: Travel to Álcacer do Sal

This is the first article of the new Setúbal guide. Over the next weeks we'll be explaining a little more of each location of the region of Setúbal and we start with the beautiful city of Álcacer do Sal.

Álcacer do Sal is a
dramatic medieval hill-top city located in the South of the Setúbal region, with a population around 6000 inhabitants. Wrought-iron balconies look out over the river and underneath them dwell a variety of cafés and restaurants.

Here is located the beautiful natural Sado river reserve named
Reserva Natural do Estuário do Sado and it's also here where the river Sado quietly meets the ocean. It's a city full of history with its medieval and charming streets and a castle at the top. The town’s name comes from the Moorish al qasr meaning ‘the castle’, and the Sal refers to the age-old production of salt in this area.

Besides walking down the medieval cobbled streets and feelings its ancient history, other things to do in Álcacer do sal include:
  • Walking tour inside the city seeing many examples of the remarkable Renaissance architecture in Portugal, like the Church of Santiago or the 16th century Convent of Santo Antonio,
  • Sailing, Windsurfing and Fishing at the Gaio dam,
  • Balloon sightseeing tours,
  • Boat trips alongside the estuary,
  • Visit to the castle, where mighty ramparts and towers remind us of times when the city played an important part in territorial battles,
  • Bird watching in the estuary where you can see many diferent species of birds all year round,
  • Going on a walking tour around the region (called Passeio dos Negros),
  • Enjoying the sun and sea at the stunning white sandy beaches at Comporta,
  • Horseback riding,
  • Visiting several small villages around the city where you can see many pieces of Arqueology like the Roman remains,
  • And of course, enjoying the many typical Portuguese cuisine and wines of this region in one of its many restaurants. Álcacer do Sal has also a tradition of desserts which recipes have been secretly hidden for decades and are just delicious. Amongst others are: pinhoada, bolo de mel e pastéis de feijão e amêndoa.
See more photos of Álcacer do Sal on our Flickr or join us on Facebook

Friday, May 21, 2010

Seagull Again Weekend Video

The 15-16 May 2010 will stay forever in our minds as the Seagull Again Weekend. Two days full of activities and a huge party at the Tróia Design Hotel.

It was a fun weekend but an emotional event for many as the party took a walk down memory lane to bring exactly the same music from the 80's and 90's that used to play at the original Seagull disco in Galapos, a club that became a reference for a huge generation of people in Portugal and beyond.

We invited everyone to send us their photos from this fantastic weekend and as a thank you, we compiled it into the video below.

A big thank you to the participants for helping showing the stunning region of Setúbal!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Seagull Again Weekend: Your Photos

We invited the participants of the "Seagull Again Weekend" that took place on the 15-16 May 2010 to send us their photos from this fantastic weekend and here they are!

Click on the link below:

Seagull Again Weekend Photos

Saturday, May 8, 2010